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Unit Pallete

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Creation & Customization' started by The Guardian, May 1, 2011.

  1. The Guardian

    The Guardian Praetorian

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    Do I need a new pallete for each unit or can I use a single pallete for all my units?
     
  2. tom2050

    tom2050 Deity

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    For units, you could use the same palette, but the units won't look as good as they could if each unit has a palette made of the most appropriate colors.

    To make it easier, you can use pre-existing palettes of units that have similar colors, and those will work well enough in most circumstances.
     
  3. The Guardian

    The Guardian Praetorian

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    So what your saying is that for the best results, a seperate pallete should be made for each unit.

    I am downloaded your tutorial on making palletes but got an error when trying to extract the rar file. I am going to redownload and see if that works. I'll checkout the tutorial, but I'm old and you know how hard it is to teach an old dog new tricks. :deadhorse:
     
  4. tom2050

    tom2050 Deity

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    TBH, I don't even remember making a tuturial on that. :) If I did, it would have been for Photoshop though. I've only used GIMP very briefly and PSP only had a 30 day free trial I used long ago.
     
  5. The Guardian

    The Guardian Praetorian

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    Sry Tom, I guess your right. I was referring to this tutorial.
    Get a working palette in under 10 minutes!!! [New method and program]
    But it looks like you deserve some collabrative credit.


     
  6. tom2050

    tom2050 Deity

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    Oh yea, I have been doing that method with TileSetPal since 2009. polyphemus asked how I do palettes, and I told him, sent him the links and instructions, as well as all the act/pal palette files I made (which he included in his download), and asked if I cared that he made a tuturial. He didn't discover it as he claims, I told him about what I do (works best for me), and he wrote the tuturial (for GIMP). So credit to him for knowing GIMP palettes and writing a tuturial.

    I've mentioned TileSetPal on posts around here before, and have given links. TileSetPal is a palette merge tool, and is incredibly useful. With it you can easily merge a unit's colors (160) with the first 32 shadow colors, and with the bottom 64 civ colors in a few clicks.

    I also told him how I get a units colors by using a regular LG 128x128 (or larger unit image, like the LG PCX file) to quickly delete the civ colors, and then use that to obtain a 160 color palette, then use TileSetPal to merge this with the civ colors, etc = DONE.

    If it wasn't for this tool, I would have never done any units; too much time wasted without the ability to merge palettes. And the palette results are extremely accurate.

    It's nice that he wrote a tuturial, though.

    In GIMP, it might take about 10 minutes, in PS it takes about 1 minute total to make an accurate complete palette. In PSP it probably takes about the same time.
     
  7. The Guardian

    The Guardian Praetorian

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    I tried his tutorial and it SEEMs easy enough, in fact I did what mentioned and used a unit lg.pcx. I then used Civ3FlcEdit and created the FLC files. Everything looked good up to that pointWhen I loaded the resulting unit into the game I got this.



    I'm pretty sure I screwed up somewhere creating the pallette but I don't know where.
     
  8. Vuldacon

    Vuldacon Dedicated to Excellence Supporter

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    The Guardian... Here are some Palette Images to show you what the Palette Slots do: (Note that the Palette may be reversed for some Graphics Programs such as GIMP)
    These are Paint Shop Pro Palettes

    I believe GIMP saves the Palettes differently so you will need to make sure the Palettes are saved correctly... someone who uses GIMP can help you there.
     

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  9. The Guardian

    The Guardian Praetorian

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    Thx Vuldacon, I use PSP XI so this is fine.
     
  10. tom2050

    tom2050 Deity

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    Well, open the FLC in FLICSTER and see what it looks like, then post a screenshot of the palette shown in FLICSTER. Should look the same as in game.

    I don't know what you are trying to do anyways. Is this a unit you are making, converting, or re-coloring?

    The palette could possibly be flipped, but it looks more like somehow the image may have been already indexed, and a new palette was applied to it; because that would alter the colors to strange shades like that. I can do it in PS by loading a new palette into a previously indexed image.

    If you were recoloring a unit, you cannot just load a new palette ontop of the current index. It will just distort the colors into jibberish usually. And changing individual colors on a palette is incredibly time-consuming and gives bad end results. For recolors, it's usually best to record an action (which can be done in PSP) so you can apply the exact same technique of recolor on each storyboard (which I usually use the function of selecting color ranges of desired tolerance to select portions I wish to recolor, and then recolor in RGB mode and re-index with new palette when done).
     
  11. Vuldacon

    Vuldacon Dedicated to Excellence Supporter

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    ...or simply re-color then take a Screen Shot of the Palette and save the palette image as a .bmp to use to copy only the 160 Unit colors to a new Palette that already has the Correct CIV Specific Colors, Smoke & Shadows on it. PEdit and other programs can be used for this.

    I agree with Tom in that if you simply applied another Palette to a new Unit and "Maintained Indexes" that would apply the Colors from that palette to the new unit with a Very Weird outcome... You can sometimes get away with applying an existing Unit Palette to another unit if you apply it with "Nearest Color Matching" but that is no where near as good as making a new Palette.

    Making a New Unit Palette is not difficult and if you take the time to make a Unit Palette that only has the Civ Specific Colors, Smoke and Shadow Shades on it, you can easily apply your New 160 New Unit Colors to it. Then you can apply that New Palette using "Maintain Indexes" to all Storyboards.

    EDIT: To Re-Color units, I keep the 256 Color Palette rather than use 16 Million Colors. I make any color changes I want using any tools or methods I like then because the CIV Specific Colors, Smoke and Shadows are also changed on the palette, I simply open the Palette "Shift + P", Take a Screen Shot of just the Palette "CTRL + ALT + Print Screen", close the Palette and Paste a New Palette Image "Ctrl + V". I save that Palette image as a .bmp because that is the most accurate to use to copy the 160 Unit Colors. You can either use the existing Unit Palette or a Blank one to copy the New Unit colors to. Save the Palette as a Jasc Palette then load it using "maintain indexes" to all storyboards.

    Naturally, if a Unit uses other Colors such as Fire or something else in another Storyboard, you need to either use those Storyboards to make the New Palette or Combine them all together on one storyboard to make the New Palette so all Unit Colors are represented for all Storyboards.

    Yes, we can and sometimes do make different palettes for different Flcs for the Same Unit but because we want the Unit to appear the same in all Flcs, it is best to use one Palette for all Flcs generally.
    There are exceptions but it does require more effort to maintain the same unit appearance with fewer Unit colors when we add more colors for something else seen in another Flc because we can only use 160 Unit Colors, when we add other colors, we have to reduce them back to 160 colors which will remove as many as are added.
     
  12. The Guardian

    The Guardian Praetorian

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    Vuldacon, here you mention that "Save the Palette as a Jasc Palette then load it using "maintain indexes" to all storyboards.Storyboards." Maintain Indexs is not available with Bmp. Am I correct in assuming that you change the Bmp to Pcx load the pallete then change it back to Bmp?
     
  13. Vuldacon

    Vuldacon Dedicated to Excellence Supporter

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    The Guardian... I believe you misunderstood what I posted... You save the Palette Image as a .bmp to copy the Unit Colors from to your New Palette (I use PEdit Palette Editor but there are others such as Tom Uses). AFTER you copy the Unit Colors from that .BMP Palette Image, the Finished Palette is saved as a "Jasc palette-file" which will be saved as a .pal automatically for Paint Shop Pro :) This palette will load onto your storyboards just as it is.

    Here are a couple of PSP Palettes you can place in your Palette Folder to use to add just the 160 Unit Colors to then save as a "Jasc palette-file", named as you like.
    One palette has the Civ Spercific Colors and the Other Palette has them blocked out with Red for units you do not want CIV Specific Colored. The Civ Specific colored palette uses the Blue Civ Color.

    Naturally, you can make other CivSpecific Colored Palettes for use such as Green, Red, etc... by using Flicster to generate a Storyboard using what ever Civ Specific Color you want. The .pal and Alpha.pal Palettes are automatically generated with the Storyboards. You simply open the Palette and Copy the Civ Specific Colors to another "Essential Color Palette".
     

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  14. The Guardian

    The Guardian Praetorian

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    You are correct of course. I did misunderstand and this is much clearer, and thx for the palletes.

    Can't believe it took three of you to make me understand this (you, Imperator and Tom) :lol:
    But I think I'm getting there. This is my latest attempt. I've included a shot from civ3Flcedit with the pallette and a screen shot from the ingame unit.
    Notice the magenta shadow, the shading around the unit and the bottom right hand corner.
    Can you tell me what I did wrong and how to fix this?




     

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  15. Vuldacon

    Vuldacon Dedicated to Excellence Supporter

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    The Transparent Color is NOT set as the Transparent Background color on the Storyboards.
    Check the Background color on the Storyboard (Dropper Tool) and then check the Last Color on the Palette since you use PSP. Those need to be the exact same.

    Other than that, the Magenta_ish colors you have in the palette will show as they are, which provides those colors in the unit.

    The "Smoke Shades" are very close to the Magenta Transparent Shade I believe you are using as the Transparent Color...that has caused PSP to select the non transparent color or "Smoke Shade" as the Transparent color because it comes 1st on the palette...and it is not transparent. due to its place on the palete...indexing.

    This is all indexing. It does not matter what the Color is but rather where the color is on the palette and is applied to the Storyboard. The Last Color is the Transparent color. Make sure the Shadow colors are applied as shadows and the transparent color is set as transparent by checking the storyboard with the Palette.

    It appears you have a shadow color set as the background color...notice the soft shadow Square around the unit? That is one of the lightest shadow shades and not the Pure Magenta color you probably have set as Transparent. It is so close that when you applied the palette, PSP "saw" that smoke shade as the 1st closest match and applied it. This is what has happened concerning the Shadows as well. You have similar shades in the Unit Palette that 1st match what would otherwise be shadows.

    IF you will upload the storyboard and the Palette you want to apply, I will take a look at it and see if I can help...then explain.

    The Unit is also in need of Adjustment concerning its position as seen on the game window...I posted about this Here... http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?p=10348835#post10348835
     
  16. The Guardian

    The Guardian Praetorian

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    First, what do you mean by the last color? Do you mean the color in the bottom right square?
    Also here is the bit map.
    Thx again Vuldacon

    BTW read the thread and it is very clear and most helpful.
     
  17. Vuldacon

    Vuldacon Dedicated to Excellence Supporter

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    The Guardian... Yes, I meant the last color slot on the Palette, Bottom Right in PSP. That is the Transparent slot. Just so you understand, it is Not the Magenta Color that makes a background Transparent. It is the Slot that color is in on the palette. Naturally, we do not want to make other parts of our unit Transparent so we use a Color that is Not found in our unit as the transparent color. This is the probable reason why the CIV Game units use Pure Magenta 255, 0, 255 as the Transparent color. I am sure you have seen many units that have a differently colored Background such as some of the Ships. The Game uses the alpha.pal palette and applies those Smoke and Shadow Shades using the same indexes or slots from the .pal palette so any colors we place on the .pal palette for Smoke or Shadows will be changed to the shade that is on the alpha.pal palette in game. Hope that makes sense.

    The center of the Shadow for the Unit is not a Shadow shade. It is #119 (153, 0, 153) on your palette. That is due to it being the 1st color on the palette that matches that shadow color. You can open the palette and click that color slot and type in the Change. #248 Shadow Shade is generally the darkest shadow needed but if you want it darker, you can use #249 Shadow Shade. Simply Type in the Red, Green, Blue numbers then reload your same palette to "Nearest Color Matching" and #19 will not be used and will then become the shadow shade you selected.

    NOTE: I do not see any Purples or Blues on the Unit that are in the palette. Why are those colors in your palette? If They are not needed, they use up color slots that could be used for other colors that are in the unit and that would also make the unit even better.

    IF you have the .bmp original Storyboard. That is best to make a new Palette from because it will be in 16 million colors that we reduce to 160 colors. We 1st have to replace all Magenta, Purples and other colors with Black 0, 0, 0. That avoids those colors getting into our palette when we reduce colors to 160. We do not need any shadow shades or Civ Specific Colors on that storyboard so we replace those all with Black. We Only want the Unit Colors when we reduce colors for a New Palette.
    The Reason is because the Civ Specific Colors and all Smoke and Shadow Shades are already on the Palettes. We simply want to add the 160 Colors our Unit Uses.
     
  18. Vuldacon

    Vuldacon Dedicated to Excellence Supporter

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    The Guardian...

    This is a one frame example of what your storyboard would look like before reducing colors. This was from your 256 Color palette so it has far fewer colors than it would have from a .bmp storyboard.

    Using the Color Replacer Tool, Start by Replacing All Smoke, Shadow, Background and Civ Specific Colors on the .bmp Storyboard with Black, then reduce to 256 colors and selectively, adjusting each color slot desired, change any other unwanted colors to Black.. When you are satisfied that you have removed all unwanted colors (usually Purples, Pinks and Shadow Shades), increase the Storyboard to 16 Million colors then reduce to 160 Colors. This technique removes the Civ Specific Colors, Purples, Pinks, some Reds if not used and all Smoke and Shadow Shades before Reducing colors to 160 colors for a Unit.

    The Reason for reducing to 256 colors after replacing most of the unwanted colors is because there will be some colors that you do not want but the Color Replacer Tool will sometimes remove other colors that we do want at the same time because the other colors are so close to the color you want to replace. This can happen despite adjusting the Tolerance for the Color Replacer Tool. IF you try to replace a color and many other Colors are also replaced, undo that and leave the color so you can manually replace that color on the 256 color palette without replacing the other colors the tool was replacing.

    You can combine Storyboards all on one storyboard if needed before reducing colors. This storyboard will ONLY be used for Color Reduction/Palette Purposes so copy and paste does not need to be perfect and units can overlap in areas. This is used when we have several Animations that use different colors such as Gun Fire, Blood in a Death or anything that uses another color not found in just one Storyboard. If we made a palette using the Attack or Default storyboard, the Death Blood Color would not be in the palette. It is easier to reduce colors on each storyboard you need to combine before copy and pasting them all onto one storyboard.
    Hope this all make sense :)
     

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  19. tom2050

    tom2050 Deity

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    Yea, your palette has tons of magenta colors in it which are reserved for shadows. It doesn't look like the actual unit itself has any purple colors in it. How did those magenta colors get there?

    The whole point of TileSetPal is so that you can quickly get the units colors from the 128x128 PCX file (reduced to 160 colors), and then merge it with the first 32 shadow colors, and the bottom civ colors.

    Just open the Large PCX Image (which is indexed with 254 colors), re-index the palette to 160 colors (after removing any civ coloring from the image!)... open that palette file in TilesetPal and merge it with the shadow/civ colors, and you should be done.

    If a unit does indeed have purple coloring, you need to use a different color for the background/shadows to avoid palette problems. Which usually means it's best to rerender with an alternative background/shadow colors.
     
  20. The Guardian

    The Guardian Praetorian

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    Nuff said I think except:

    Great big thank you to Vuldacon for all you help and guidance
    and
    Thanks Tom for your help and for pointing me to the best software to do the job.
    and
    Thanks you Imperator for your tips and guidance

    You are the best.:worship::worship::worship:
     

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